UK Director Magazines holds its first event

Essex Director, Norfolk Director and Suffolk Director’s first event, ‘Helping to Run your Business Better’, has been hailed as a huge success by business leaders across the region.

Published in Essex Director Magazine Spring | Summer 2023
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Event: UK Director Magazines

The inaugural UK Director Magazines event, ‘Helping to Run your Business Better’, has been hailed as a huge success by business leaders across the region.

Hosted by the University of Suffolk (UoS), the networking conference brought together leaders representing a wide array of sectors around the county and further afield – all keen to find out more about what it takes to maximise business success. More than 100 sole traders, directors, entrepreneurs, partners and owners converged in the UoS’s Lecture Theatre, to share and discuss the key challenges they face, and learn how to take success to another level.

Held in association with Ellisons, Paddy & Scott’s, Ensors, and Pound Gates, the occasion provided a great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and to glean expertise from exceptional business leaders and experts in their field.

Overcoming challenges

Delegates listened to inspirational and motivational presentations given by keynote speakers, William Kendall and Minnie Moll. They were then able to question an expert panel on a range of  issues currently being faced by companies in the area.

The keynote speakers recalled the highs and lows of running a business, and the challenges they have had to overcome along the way.

First to speak was Minnie Moll, a Suffolk resident and Chief Executive of the Design Council – the UK’s national strategic advisor for design – who was previously Chief Executive of retailer Jarrold in Norwich, as well as Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op. Then environmentalist, entrepreneur and Suffolk organic farmer, William Kendall, followed with a presentation where he spoke about his experiences of running several businesses and building brands.

After a break to network, the second part of the morning took the form of a Q&A, where a  panel of experts representing the legal, HR, finance, risk and insurance, grants, funding and international trade sectors, brought their wealth of experience to bear, in answering questions on topics that included: how to achieve business growth, resilience during challenging times, recruiting in a skills shortage and hybrid working post-Covid.

Chaired by Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk, the panel included:

Guy Longhurst, Managing Partner, Ellisons Solicitors; Carole Burman, Founder and Managing Director, MAD-HR; Josh Yasar, Finance and Commercial Director, Pound Gates; Zoe Plowman, Partner, Ensors Chartered Accountants; Scott Russell, Owner and Founder, Paddy & Scott’s; David Jackson, New Anglia Growth Hub and formerly International Sales Director, MGC Lighting Group.

Second event now planned

Plans are now underway for UK Director Magazines’ second event, ‘Growth and Scale Up’. Held once again at the University of Suffolk, a definite date is yet to be confirmed, but it is likely to take place in September or October. Watch out for more about this event and ticket information, which will be posted on Suffolk Director, Norfolk Director and Essex Director’s social media platforms.

Sue Wilcock said: “As publishers of three business magazines, which all have one simple aim – to help people run their business better, we are very proud that our inaugural event was such a success.  

“We wanted to stimulate a healthy discussion around the real issues that concern businesses in the area and create an opportunity for leaders to share their experiences and learn from others.

“We’re delighted with the feedback, which has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve managed to create a unique insight into the business community locally, and we’re excited to see where we can grow the opportunities for the benefit of everyone.”

‘Truly inspired and motivated to run our businesses better.’

Here are just some of the messages received from attendees at the event:

“This was just such a perfect reflection of the passion, business acumen and collective creativity which exists across our business community… There’s no doubt that it’s occasions of this nature which breed an infectious desire to inspire others, and to ‘get things done’.”
“Just attended the first ever ‘Helping to Run your Business Better’ event and I must say, it was truly inspiring! Overall, the event was a massive success, and I came away feeling motivated and inspired. Can’t wait for the next one!”
“What I loved most about the event wasn’t only the opportunity to meet old faces and say ‘hello’ to new ones, it was the ability to share knowledge and experiences with people in a similar position. Despite hailing from a whole range of business backgrounds, it was reassuring to know that the issues keeping me awake are the same for everyone.”
“Congratulations – what a wonderful job you did! All the key elements were there: good venue, great speakers and panel, efficient organisation, and well-structured engagement. Thanks for creating a very informative and enjoyable event.”
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast… Just one of the many take-home messages from this morning’s excellent ‘Helping to Run your Business’ event.”

If you want to be notified when tickets for the next event are available, please email:, or follow us on social media platforms.

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